In his new role, Patil is expected to help shape policies and practices on U.S. technological innovation, forge partnerships to help the nation get the most on its investments in data, and recruit and retain talent in data science to help serve the public.
The White House last week released a generally upbeat interim report detailing progress in implementing privacy protections around the ever-increasing collection, use and storage of big data.
The Secret Service, which has been embroiled in recent years by operational lapses, low morale and other issues, would see a sizable 16.3 percent boost – or about $308 million – under the president's recently unveiled 2016 budget proposal.
One expert cited a Washington Post article from last March that said that federal agents notified more than 3,000 U.S. companies in 2013 that their computer systems had been hacked – and likely more than once.
The United States and the United Kingdom are strengthening their digital partnership with plans to work more closely on delivering digital services, expanding open government efforts and increasing information technology training and Internet access.
Only a director from outside the Secret Service will act independently of the agency's traditions and personal relationships, and "be able to do the honest top-to-bottom reassessment this will require," an independent panel said.
The White House, Interior Department and several other agencies this week released large government datasets on water and ecosystems as well as new geospatial tools to help communities prepare and cope with impacts from climate change.
On the heels of last week's U.S.-China deal to limit greenhouse gases, a White House task force is proposing several measures that federal agencies can take to help communities better prepare for impacts from climate change.
The Obama administration announced Nov. 7 it will request $5.6 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL. The additional funding comes five months after the administration's original OCO request, which funds some Defense and State Department efforts, as well as other international programs.
The White House recently launched the "write" application programming interface version of its petitions platform as a way for people to more easily submit signatures from other sites.